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quickhands
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132 Posts

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Hi People,

If this is not the best place for this post, please let me know. I am trying to find my way around here.

The question that I would like to ask if anybody has used mouse pads to perform magic on. It seems like a good surface to me and the prices are reasonable. Could you think of pros and cons for their use and/or other alternatives.

Thanks,

QH.
magicbob116
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Inner circle
1523 Posts

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I got a big (about 12"x14") mousepad a while back from office depot that works well for close-up.
B. Robert Pulver

The "I Hate Card Tricks!" Book of Card Tricks Vol. 1, 2, and 3
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pgh-mike
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If the wrong people read this you will upset them. There is some people that feel that you have to spend the big bucks on a close-up pad to perform good magic. I use one of those large mouse pads on top of my rolling case/table. A mouse pad will take more of a beating than a close-up pad. I just got some a Borders that are called 'MouseRug' and 'CoasterRug' the coaster is smaller and come in a 4 pack. They look like rugs. If you want to impress magicians spend the big bucks on a close-up pad...if you want a 'work horse' pad to use in everyday conditions, use whatever works for you.
sethb
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The Jersey Shore
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I agree, there's nothing wrong with using a mouse pad as a close-up pad, assuming you can find one that's the right color and size for you. In fact, a mouse pad might be even better than a "real" close-up pad, because they're usually smaller and wouldn't need to be rolled or folded up when packed. Also, since it's a real mouse pad, it shouldn't attract any undue suspicion. If you find one you like, get two so you'll always have a spare!

I have found mouse pads to be very good for coin work -- they make it easier to pick up the coins and also dampen the sound of gimmicked coins as they are put down. The pad can also help prevent dings and dents in dropped gimmicked coins. But I think the mousepad surface might be a little too slick for some card work.

For example, I pitch Svengali decks, and I use a piece of nylon carpeting for my demos; it has just enough roughness to "hold" the cards in position during spreads and fans. The carpeting is also great for Cups & Balls work, since it deadens the sound of the balls, and prevent them from rolling, too. The carpeting is bound on all sides to prevent fraying, is just the right size to fit in my suitcase, and looks like it will last a very long time.

So look around at various surfaces, and find something that works for you and your particular props. I don't know of any law that requires magicians to buy all their props in magic stores -- some of my best equipment has come from Staples, Home Depot & WalMart! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
RickyD
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South Carolina
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I used to use a mouse pad for some of my close-up work. However, I found it was too small for some applications. (Didn't have one of those "jumbo-sized" ones a couple of people mentioned.) For example -- couldn't do a 4-Card Coin Matrix on it without it looking and feeling crowded. But it did work well for some coin work. Guess it really depends on what you're using it for.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."
-- Philippians 4:23
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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I like mouse pads much better than those sold as close-up pads as well. They are much sturdier, much cheaper ($10 +/-) and are easy to find.

I have the really large one measuring about 14 x 17 and found it at Office Depot, but have seen it at other office supply stores, right next to the regular mouse pads. They even have them in various colors, depending on your mood or personality.

For the money, choice of colors, easy to get, etc...you really can't go wrong. Give it a try. You'll be glad you did.
quickhands
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Thanks for the comments. I got a blue ~14 X 17 mouse pad and works great. I paid less that $10. The only problem that I have with it is that it isnot good for the C&B... I will figure something out though.

Thanks,

QH.
Vandy Grift
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Milwaukee
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There is nothing inherently wrong with using a mouse pad. If it works for you then use it. Myself, I have tried them for some things and didn't like them very much. When I started doing 3-shell I didn't have a close up mat so I used a large mouse pad, I thought it was fine until I got a real close up mat. It makes a difference. I think mouse pads are ok, but even the cheaper close up mats are much better (in my opinion) for cards and shells.

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
RaveMastaE
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Texas
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I have used both, and I personally prefer close up pads. There is nothing wrong with mouse pads, and I wouldn't cry a hissy fit if I needed to use them. The reason I don't like them is this: the mouse pads I have used to not have very much give to them. They are just a little bit too hard for coin work and that sort of thing.

Just my opinion,
Evan Douglas
quickhands
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I have noticed that when practicing the C&Bs, the balls seem to bounce a little more than I would like. I wonder if a close up pad would be the fix for this apparent "problem".

Thanks,

QH.
liljay510
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Dallas, TX
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I bought mine close up pad from staples...it is the exact same one I bought at a convention for about 30 dollars....The best part is that the pad is packaged with a cardboard to keep it from folding....Brainstorm....a few cuts here and there....and we can perform that's Incredible by Paul Gertner.....

only 8 dollars...plus shipping and handling...unless you check out your closest staples.

anyways here is a link that may be helpful..it is made Handstand

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009JC......ing=UTF8

another website

http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=supe......ct=title
No matter How much you know you can never stop learning.
GWSchott
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Southeastern Michigan
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I don't like mouse pads because they're too hard. The speciality 'closeup' pads have a thin layer of foam separating the top covering from the harder rubber underneath, and it just seems to work better for me than anything else. And they're not really that expensive.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
JackSpade
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http://www.xoxide.com/corepad-deskpad-xxxl-mouse-pad.html

I use this on my coffee table when I'm doing magic or playing poker with friends. Not exacly a cheap mousepad but I doubt you'll find a bigger pad anywhere else. Close up pads are softer than mousepads but I don't use them enough to care. My invisible palm and matrix routines look fine on this.
dlachance
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Mississippi
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Never thought of using a mouse pad....thanks everyone....i'm gonna give it a try....

Dorian
-Dorian LaChance
WoodRat
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California
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I use to use a mouse pad, but I eventually found them to be too "springy."

For a cheap, knock around close up pad, I use a small kitchen floor mat from Walmart. Yep, kelly green, rubber backed, short nap, $5 and indestructable.

Cheers
Learn something new everyday.
dxsare
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I found nice big mouse pads that I sometimes use because I use them for my real mouse pads for CAD work for a bigger surface. However I found like many people that they are a little too hard, making picking up coins and the like difficult. For cups and balls they do have more bounce which I don't really like, and they just don't feel as good as a "real" close-up pad. I am making a nice close-up pad using the apollo large pad with a .5" hardwood layer which has cutouts underneath for cards, jumbo coins and smaller coins, and a layer of felt on the bottom as well as a cloth servante with 3 pockets that fits under the pad and hangs of the end of the table. I am just finishing the design in autocad and I'll post pictures when I am done.

Stevie D
-Stevie D
mrsmiles
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Hey, just a quick thought... if you use a mouse pad, this would be perfect patter for doing the mousetrap trick. This is a pretty good effect (but beware of doing in a restaurant) that draws a very good reaction as long as you're comfortable with using fear, suspense and spectators shreiking! I might give this a go myself very soon. I've got it in a drawer only used for fun at home with wife, friends etc but might take it with me with a mouse mat to a gig soon and give it a try. (Add maybe 'mouse from napkin' as taught by Mullica and there's perhaps the makings of a routine...)
mrsmiles
(UK)
Michael Wells
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I only use a mouse pad with tiny cards.
Dynamike
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How about getting a mouse pad personalized? It can have your name on it with a top hat, cane, bunny, etc. It there a company that does that?
scaevola
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This is a great thread. that's for saving me money on my next close up pad guys!

The nature of my show and my livestyle mean that I have to keep rebuilding things so most everything has to be homemade or built on the cheap. This is a great idea!
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